By Sharon Michaels of Women’s Media
1. The most common way to begin a home-based business is by taking a hobby and turning it into a moneymaking business. What is it people say you do so well, you should turn into a business?
2. Become an affiliate marketer. Receiving a percentage of the sale price for selling another person’s product on the Internet is affiliate marketing. Probably the best-known and easiest way to begin as an affiliate marketer is with Amazon.com. They can even help you set up your own virtual shop.
3. Join a network marketing company. This is a step-by-step way to begin a side business. As with anything, do your homework and stay within your budget. With network marketing, you generally have a built-in support group of seasoned leaders and the tools you need to start a business.
4. With your current expertise and experience, find a need and fill it. I’m sure you’ve said to yourself many times, “I can do that and I can do it better!” There are many opportunities for a side business if you use your imagination. Who needs your expertise—and would be willing to pay for it?
5. Buy a franchise. This can be expensive and may take more time than you have to give. A franchise can give you a proven plan for building a business and the ongoing support of the franchise company. If you’re in a position to invest the money and have someone to run the business while you’re at your job, this could be just what you’re looking for. The Small Business Administration lists the loan failure rates for select franchises: safest bets are the ones with the lowest rates, such as Pizza Hut (3.7% failure rate) and H&R Block (6%).
6. Become a virtual assistant. Do you know how many unorganized and time-strapped business owners could use an online assistant? If you have the skills, there are clients who will be willing to pay you for help with things they don’t have time to do—record keeping, blog posts, newsletters, reports, etc. It’s all done online, from your computer.
7. There’s always eBay. This online auction company may prove to be a viable side business opportunity for you. There’ll always be the buyer looking for their next treasure or bargain and you could be just the person offering it.
8. Publish your own book and market it on Amazon.com. Have you been thinking about putting all those journals or notes together in a book? It’s easier than ever to become a self-published author. You can also publish on-demand paperback and hardcover books through various online publishers.
9. Learn how to create blogs, websites and sales pages for small businesses. The demand has never been higher for having a web presence. If you know how to create a blog, there is business out there for you. Many home-based entrepreneurs don’t have the time or skills to create their own blog, website or sale pages. They’re willing to pay for a solid web presence and you could be just the person to develop it for them.
10. Take a long-lost skill or passion and fine-tune it into a moneymaker. Is there a skill that you’ve had to abandon? Could you dust off and fine-tune this skill to start a moneymaking home-based business?
11. Develop a seasonal business that will save others time, energy or money. The most obvious seasonal businesses are snow removal or lawn care. There are so many more opportunities out there—holiday home decorating, making costumes for Halloween, planning graduation parties, etc. Honestly, you’re only limited by your imagination.
12. Become a consultant or researcher. If you love detail and enjoy helping others find answers, you could begin your own consulting or researching business. If you have expertise in a certain area, there are people who will be more than willing to pay for your time.
13. Use your writing skills to become a ghostwriter. I’ve talked with so many blog owners who are willing to pay someone to ghost write their blog posts or help them write a book. There are opportunities for proficient writers.
14. You can become a paid tutor. If you have the skill and patience, there are students who want and need your expertise.
15. There is always a market for pet sitters and dog walkers. No, it’s not just in the movies. Busy or physically challenged pet owners are looking for a kind, trustworthy and compassionate person to help care for their pets. This is an in demand service. I personally know of neighbors who have hired sitters to stay with their pets while they were on vacation—and another who broke her arm and paid a dog walker to walk her dog twice daily.